ASU, LSU in talks to postpone 2015-16 series
Arizona State and LSU appear likely to postpone a home-and-home series set for 2015 and 2016, the second such change to a series that was originally set to be played in 2005 and 2008.
The New Orleans Times Picayune reported Thursday that LSU is currently seeking a “major BCS conference opponent” to play at Tiger Stadium on Sept. 12, 2015, the date ASU is scheduled to play in Baton Rouge.
LSU senior associate athletic director Verge Ausberry told the paper that LSU does not want to play both ASU and Wisconsin in 2016 — LSU and Wisconsin this week announced a neutral-site game to be played on Sept. 3, 2016 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. — so the series is again being pushed back.
ASU was originally scheduled to play in Baton Rouge in 2005 and host LSU in 2008. Hurricane Katrina made the 2005 game unplayable, and the LSU home game was played at Sun Devil Stadium as a fundraising effort for hurricane relief. The series was then pushed back to 2015 in Baton Rouge and 2016 in Tempe.
The series will apparently be moved again, though nothing has been made official. An ASU athletics spokesman said the school is working on several future scheduling initiatives but could not comment about any talks with LSU.
The likely postponement represents just the latest scheduling alteration for ASU. Earlier this year, Notre Dame tried to back out of a home-and-home series, but ASU athletic director Steve Patterson stood firm and ultimately got the Fighting Irish to honor their commitment to play in Tempe in 2014 while agreeing to drop a 2017 game in South Bend, Ind.
ASU should still have plenty of time to find a strong replacement for LSU in 2015 and 2016. If Patterson and coach Todd Graham’s proclaimed philosophy of playing the best competition possible proves honest, that opponent should be a good one, though it will be tough to match LSU, one of college football’s premiere programs.